Congress asks PM, BJP for apology over IC-814 hijacking

New Delhi


 Targeting the then NDA government over former RAW chief A.S. Dulat's revelations, the Congress on Friday demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP over the release of terrorists during the IC-814 hijacking in 1999.

"If the BJP still does not accept that the NDA government was blissfully soft on terror, then the people of India will never judge them kindly. The BJP has an ingrained habit of brazening out their own misdeeds, which they are again repeating in this (Narendra) Modi sarkar," Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan told the media here.

"The Congress demands that the prime minister and the BJP apologise unconditionally to the nation for having aided, abetted and favoured anti-India elements, terrorists and criminals. They should apologise for having ensured that terrorists were released and flown to safe havens in Pakistan so that they continue to bleed India," he said.

Former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief A.S. Dulat on Thursday said no clear instructions were given to police on December 24, 1999, when the hijacked Indian Airlines plane landed in Amritsar, because of which the hijackers took the plane to Kandahar in Afghanistan.

"Dulat's revelations are a severe indictment of the then BJP government (led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee) and establishes that self-styled nationalism of the BJP is guided by extension of help to terrorists and criminals on humanitarian grounds," the Congress spokesperson said.

He added: "All these instances vindicate the stand of the Indian National Congress. All these instances have been in the public domain but the BJP refuse to acknowledge them. They now stand thoroughly exposed by an inside account."

Another Congress spokesperson, Ajoy Kumar told the media that Dulat's comments revealed "disturbing facts".

"They (the BJP) have compromised the interests of the country whenever they have been in power. Who was behind these decisions," he asked.

Dulat's book 'Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years' is slated for release shortly.

The opposition party also raked up the post-Godhra riots issue.

"Dulat says that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee believed that he lost the 2004 general elections in view of the Gujarat riots...Bharat Ratna Vajpayee has clearly condemned...the shameful incidents of 2002," Ajoy Kumar said.

He said it was Vajpayee who reminded Chief Minster Modi to "follow raj dharma".

"Will Narendra Modi respect the words of the Bharat Ratna awardee and apologise to the country for 2002 (Gujarat riots)," the Congress leader asked. - IANS